Does Involved Fathering Produce a Larger Total Workload for Fathers Than for Mothers? Evidence from Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionFamily Relations. 2017, . 10.1111/fare.12264
Objective: To compare mothers’ and fathers’total workloads within couples with different work-time arrangements in a social democratic welfare state (Norway) and explore possible changes in the 1990s and 2000s. Background: Women’s double workload in families with two full-time jobs has been well documented. However, some argue that fathers,too, may experience the double burden of market and domestic work as they become more involved in parenting. Method: The data are from the Norwegian Time Use Surveys conducted in 1990, 2000,and 2010 among representative samples of the adult population. A subsample of coupled other-sex-parents with at least one child younger than age 20 years were used in the present study. Total workload is the sum of paid and unpaid work activities reported in a time diary. Standard multivariate ordinary least square regressions were used to explore gender differences. Results: Full-time work for both parents entailed approximately equal total workloads for fathers and mothers. However, fathers’ total workload exceeded mothers’ in full-time and part-time couples with school-aged children. Conclusion: Despite equal total workloads and reduced specialization, mothers still do less paid work and more family work than fathers in couples where both work full-time in Norway. This is partly related to the gender-segregated labor market. In full-time and part-time couples With school-aged children, fathers’ longer working hours are not fully offset by more family work for mothers. Implications: Work–family reconciliation policies promoting mothers’ employment and fathers’ family work may have the potential to reduce gender imbalances in parent’s total workloads and moderate gendered specialization patterns.